Thursday, 9 September 2010

A tweet explained

I tweeted this: “I just read the Metro and completely missed our ad. I had to go back and search for it. #advertisingdoesntwork

I feel it requires explanation. 

I knew that Wednesdays Metro would contain an advert for an event.  I knew this because I’d sort of been involved but I’d stored it in my subconscious.

On Wednesday morning after my bracing walk to the station I bought my ticket, just missed the 8:13 and waited for the 8:20, Metro in hand.  For the few minutes before the train arrived I opened the Metro and started reading whilst listening to the radio via the phone.  When the train arrived I hopped on, turned the radio off, packed away my headphones and continued reading the Metro, standing all the way because everyone else had taken the seats.

As we neared Liverpool Street I’d read everything I wanted to and then my subconscious whispered in my ear “Did you see the advert?”

I hadn’t. But I couldn’t recall seeing any advert.  I read the paper without registering any of the advertising.  I’d filtered the whole lot out.  I’d managed to do this without even being aware of what I was doing.

When I use the computer and I’m surfing using the Chrome browser I never see advertising.  This time it’s not because of any subconscious activity but because of an active choice.  I’ve installed the Adblocker extension and I love it.  Ad free surfing is a pure pleasure.

When I watch telly, where possible I record and playback skipping the adverts.  If I have to watch adverts I’m usually checking Facebook or Twitter at the same time and not giving the TV my full attention.

When I travel around I seem to be able to screen outdoor advertising from my field of vision.  I know the conscious mind only stores what it considers valuable and for me, advertising rarely falls into that category.

If I listen to commercial radio the adverts are harder to tune out and following that completely scientific analysis, and the fact that I avoid commercial radio because of the advertisements, I decided that #advertisingdoesntwork for me.

I wanted to see the ad in the Metro because it related to work I’ve been doing so I went back through the paper and found it. 

When I reached the office, a colleague who hadn’t known, about the ad placement had spotted the ad unprompted.  So the reason #advertisingdoesntwork is probably me, and not the advertising.  

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